Friday, April 1, 2016

Navy Ford (CVN-78) Class Aircraft Carrier Program: Background and Issues for Congress

File photo


CVN-78, CVN-79, CVN-80, and CVN-81 are the first four ships in the Navy’s new Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) class of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers (CVNs). CVN-78 was fully funded in prior fiscal years. The Navy’s proposed FY2016 budget requests procurement for CVN-79 and advance procurement (AP) funding for CVN-80.
CVN-78 was procured in FY2008. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget estimates the ship’s procurement cost at $12,887.0 million (i.e., about $12.9 billion) in then-year dollars. The ship received advance procurement funding in FY2001-FY2007 and was fully funded in FY2008-FY2011 using congressionally authorized four-year incremental funding.
To help cover cost growth on the ship, the ship received an additional $1,374.9 million in FY2014-FY2016 in FY2015 in so-called cost-to-complete procurement funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget does not request any additional funding for the ship. The ship is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in late August or early September 2016.
CVN-79 was procured in FY2013. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget estimates the ship’s procurement cost at $11,398.0 million (i.e., about $11.4 billion) in then-year dollars. The ship received advance procurement funding in FY2007-FY2012, and the Navy plans to fully fund the ship in FY2013-FY2018 using congressionally authorized six-year incremental funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget requests $1,291.8 million in procurement funding for the ship. The ship is scheduled for delivery to the Navy in June 2022.
CVN-80 is scheduled to be procured in FY2018. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget estimates the ship’s procurement cost at $12,900.0 million (i.e., $12.9 billion) in then-year dollars. The Navy wants to use AP funding for the ship FY2016 and FY2017, and then fully fund the ship in FY2018-FY2023 using congressionally authorized six-year incremental funding. The Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget requests $1,370.8 million in AP funding for the ship.
CVN-81 is scheduled to be procured in FY2023. Under current plans, the Navy would use AP funding for the ship in FY2021 and FY2022, and then fully fund the ship in FY2023-FY2028 using congressional authorized six-year incremental funding. The Navy’s FY2017 budget submission programs the initial increment of AP funding for the ship in FY2021.
Oversight issues for Congress for the CVN-78 program (and other carrier-related issues) include the following:
-- whether to provide advance procurement (AP) funding in FY2017 for the purchase of materials for CVN-81, so as to enable a combined purchase of materials for CVN-80 and CVN-81 (the Navy’s proposed FY2017 budget does not request any AP funding for the procurement of materials for CVN-81);
-- whether to approve, reject, or modify the Navy’s proposal in its FY2017 budget submission to disestablish one of the Navy’s carrier air wings;
-- cost growth in the CVN-78 program, Navy efforts to stem that growth, and Navy efforts to manage costs so as to stay within the program’s cost caps;
-- CVN-78 program issues that were raised in a January 2016 report from the Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E); and
-- whether the Navy should shift at some point from procuring large-deck, nuclear-powered carriers like the CVN-78 class to procuring smaller aircraft carriers.


Click here for the full report (70 PDF pages) hosted on the website of the Federation of American Scientists.

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